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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

An empty gift wrapped box

I listened to my son tell me he'd seen a video where a family wrapped an empty box because they couldn't afford presents. He was worried that would be us this year. His worries are not without basis. The credit cards are maxed with my surgery and awaiting reimbursement from insurance. There's a deductible that won't be reimbursed. There have been so, so many unexpected expenses this year. So there's just a lot we have to say no to. And that brings me shame at first if I'm honest.

No, you can't go ice skating.
No, we can't order from the fundraiser.
No, we can't go out to breakfast.
No, you can't have fill-in-the-blank.

And the shame is there. I feel embarrassed by all the things we can't do.

But then I think of all the memoirs I've read about people with tenacity and I know, in those stories, there were lean times. At lean times like these, the protagonist digs in. She saves for what's needed, does what's needed. The people in her life and the goal are what matter. She stays focused on those things, and is on top eventually.

I'm already on top. My kids have a great life. We talked about that. They will get to ski and ride bikes and swim. They have friends and family. We can go to the grocery store and buy any kind of fruit we want, any grain, any meat. I told him that 100 years ago, a Christmas orange was a real treat. We can, on the spot, listen to any song we want. I couldn't do that when I was a kid. It's a great time to be a human being.

In case you're worried, there will be presents. I bought a few things before any of this and I've got tricks up my sleeve. I'll pull quarters from all over and tape them to a roll of paper and take them to a pinball machine. They'll get presents from grandparents and it'll all be more than enough.

So I also told him not to worry, that there would be plenty of presents but that even if someday there weren't presents, we'd still have an awesome Christmas. I told him, we have all the important things.

And we really do. We have great people and love and health and a beautiful place to live.

It is Colorado gives day. This year, I can't donate. Maybe you can't either and that's ok. But if you can, there are women who are not safe, who need a place, who need help. There are people who don't have$50 for paying for stocking stuffers and there are those who do.

Consider donating